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A new to me trail

Posted by RL Policar On January - 21 - 2013

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This past Saturday Animal showed up to our ride at Whiting Ranch. He rolls up and tells us he had just finished a lap and was looking to add more miles that morning. One of our other buddies J-Kewl joined us for this ride. By the way, all the photos were courtesy of Lady P and Animal.
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Animal tells us about a section of Whiting Ranch that not many riders dare to climb. In fact while we were there we only saw one other guy on a bike. Check out the this photo that Lady P took of Animal, J-Kewl and yours truly. She was pretty fierce that day and was mashing up all the climbs.
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Here’s one of the look out points that Lady P found. Click on the image to make it bigger.
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Once we got to the top we were greeted with a picnic bench where we could relax and take in the scenery.
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Animal was riding his Airborne Goblin.
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I took a little video of our ride with the GoPro while it was mounted on my handle bar via Trail Rail Mount.

As tough that new trail was, it certainly was rewarding. It’s funny, I’ve ridden Whiting Ranch for years and I never even knew that part was there. I guess it pays off to go exploring once in a while.

One from the weekend

Posted by RL Policar On July - 9 - 2012

A shot that I took from my ride on Saturday that I thought I’d share with you all.

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Interbike 2011: KHS Bicycles

Posted by RL Policar On September - 19 - 2011

Met up with our friends at KHS Bicycles. Got to see the new bikes they are offering for 2012. First up is the SixFifty609.
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Specs:
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This bike has some pretty lines.
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Can’t go wrong with American Classic.
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Then we have the SixFifty656, a full suspension version.
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The newest bike for KHS is the new Saguaro. This is a full carbon 29er.
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Last but not least, my favorite part of KHS Bicycles, Vince Calvillo.
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KHS XCT 556 Review

Posted by RL Policar On June - 28 - 2011

When I first took delivery of the KHS XCT 556 a few months ago, I was pretty excited about trying its 30 speed drive train. The bike was redesigned for 2011 with swooping, hydroformed tubes and a bold color scheme. It’s spec’d nicely with name brand/model parts such as Rock Shox, Mavic, SRAM, Shimano, WTB and many more. The KHS XCT 556 was a direct replacement of its predecessor, the XCT 555, which we awarded the Editor’s Choice Award in 2010 for “Best Do it All Mountain Bike.”

KHS XCT 556

Who should buy this bike?

-The KHS XCT 556 is perfect for the guy or gal that wants a bike that can do pretty much any thing he/she would want when riding. It can be ridden on an all day XC epic or for the weekend warrior who likes to race Super D. Downhill? Sure, places like Fontana’s Southridge and Telonics can easily be handled by the 556.

Rider shown-Team Racer: Corey Pond
KHS XCT 556

Weight
-The test bike we have weighed in at 29lb (medium frame with pedals)
KHS XCT 556-R

Price
-KHS’s MSRP is $2799.

What makes this bike stand out?

-The XCT556 is equipped with the Rockshox Revelation RL. This fork is pretty plush and was super easy to tune to the rider’s weight thanks to its air pressure chart that is located right on the lowers. It also has the ability to lock out. This option made climbing on the bike easier.

The fork was matched with a Rockshox Monarch RT3. I’ve been a long fan of the Monarch line because of its no non-sense usability. All I would have to do is air it up and set my sag at 25%, adjust the rebound to my liking and I was off riding!

The pièce de résistance with this bike was its 30 speed drive train. Truth be told when I first got on this bike, I thought that a 30 speed drive train was interesting. Then I saw its 36t cassette and thought that it was a bit of an over-kill. But during one of my test rides through a trail called Cholla, I quickly learned the benefits of the 36t cassette and all of a sudden I was able to clear some of the most technical portions of the trail. I couldn’t believe how well the XCT’s drive train worked.

However, there was a kink in the 30 speed armor. For some odd reason, when I would shift between the big ring (44t) down to the middle ring (33t) I would occasionally experience chain suck. This would also happen when I’d shift from the granny gear to the middle ring. I found this to be unusual because the bike is brand new.
KHS XCT 556 R

Favorite part of the bike
-Other than the 36t cassette, my favorite was the Avid Elixir 5 brake system because it provides great braking power, and adjustable reach. Front rotor is 7″ and rear is 6″. No brake fading experienced. It comes down to this, when I pulled the levers, it wasn’t just on, but I could gradually feel the brakes engaging depending on how much I pull the lever.

How does it climb?
-Like a slow goat. The 36t cassette will help you get to the top, but at a slower pace.

How does it descend?

-Like a Boss. Plush fork, squishy rear shock that is complimented with its highly acclaimed Horst Link rear triangle. The XCT 556 soaks up small to large bumps, drops and jumps with ease.

Love/Hate
-Ok, hate is such a strong word. But I’ve got a dilemma here. I love the WTB Wolverine 2.2 tires, I think they are awesome! These tires are fast, and offer great grip…as a rear tire. For a front tire, I would have preferred something more aggressive like a WTB Prowler or even a Kenda Nevegal, then again that’s more of a personal opinion than anything.

KHS XCT 556 R

The KHS XCT 556 may not be someone’s dream XC race bike due to its weight, but don’t be shy to race with it. Priscilla used it during the Knobby Time Series Race #2. She did well enough to podium
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In conclusion
-The KHS XCT 556 is a versatile machine. It performs well as an XC rig and if you’ve got the balls to do so, it can handle Super D courses as well as the occasional dirt jumps. During the extended testing period we had with the bike, nothing failed on us. No signs of fatigue or wear. The only issue we had was the intermittent chain suck in which we’re not sure what caused it. Perhaps I was simply cross chaining it. Other than that, its a superb bike.

Our review disclaimer

My Visit to KHS Bicycles

Posted by RL Policar On June - 2 - 2011

Just today I went over the the USA HQ of KHS Bicycles. I had contacted one of our good friends, Vince Calvillo regarding an issue that I had with Priscilla’s KHS XC 604. I noticed a bit of play in the rear triangle and asked if Vince could take a look at it. Fortunately I had an appointment in Los Angeles which allowed me to drive right by the KHS office.
KHS Visit 2011
Once I got there, Vince introduces me to Mike Kaelon, who handles Rockshox Service, as well as Quality Control and Research/Development for KHS Bicycles. I gave Mike a run down on the bike and right away he mounts it onto the repair stand. Between he and Vince, they quickly find the problem and start working on the fix.
KHS Visit 2011
While the guys were figgiting with the bike, I couldn’t help but notice how organized Mike’s work area was. Check out the peg board with all the tools…I can only dream of having my stuff be that clean and tidy…
KHS Visit 2011

The rocker arm received a make-over with some fresh bushings.
KHS Visit 2011

Mike noticed that the pivot bearing on the Horst Link wasn’t pressed in the way he would have liked it. So he busted out a socket, bolt, some sort of part and a nut to use as a bearing press. Pretty clever if you ask me!
KHS Visit 2011

After it was all said and done, Priscilla’s KHS XC 604 received a suspension linkage tune up, front and rear derailleur adjustment and some much needed attention through out the whole bike. I’d like to thank Vince Calvillo and Mike Kaelon for all their help. You guys rock!
KHS Visit 2011

Happy Ridin!

Posted by Lady P On April - 23 - 2011

A little picture post just because. This is from my afternoon ride at the Fullerton Loop. I have been riding the Famous Fully Loop for many years and there are still days when I am just in awe of spring’s beauty!

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Ok…well if you can just look past the smog…it’s really nice out there! :D DSCF0673
Spring is definitely my favorite time of year to ride! Hope you get the chance to get out and ride today!

KHS Bicycles Interbike 2010

Posted by RL Policar On September - 26 - 2010

Vince Calvillo talks about the new bikes being offered by KHS Bicycles for 2011.

All new KHS Yuma 29er
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Redesigned Lucky 7
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Prescott 29er
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Redesigned Velvet
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Could this be the new KHS Lucky 7?

Posted by RL Policar On September - 15 - 2010

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New DH Frame for KHS Bicycles? Maybe…

Posted by RL Policar On May - 3 - 2010

Sea Otter Classic was the platform for a possible new downhill frame that KHS Bicycles is testing. Here’s a few pictures, courtesy of Mike Lord.

Logan Bingelli working on the new frame.

Photo during practice.

I’m looking forward to seeing if this frame will make it into production.

The Story Behind the Review: KHS Lucky 7

Posted by Moe Ramirez On November - 26 - 2009

I struggled for a couple days to write the review of the KHS Lucky 7.  I kept transitioning from reviewing the bike to telling stories about the bike.  Finally, I’ve decided that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  What follows, is the story of my time aboard this bike.  The trips, the rides and the races that the KHS Lucky 7 carried me through.  Watch for the review in the upcoming weeks.

The Lucky 7 has been my go to gravity bike this year. Team sponsor KHS cycles has been nice enough to grant me extended time with this demo bike, on the condition it is raced and that I share the results.

Though designed for free-ride use, the Lucky 7 is the go to bike for the KHS race team at smaller DH race courses. However a thorough resume is not a prerequisite for hopping aboard the Lucky 7 and getting the most out of the experience.  I was a casual mountain biker, I owned one trail bike and rode two or three times a month.  I had other hobbies and interests that split my time.  From 2006 till November 2008, that was my riding experience.  That’s when I met RL through this very blog and eventually the rest of the Mtnbikeriders team.  Which led me into single-speeding, then XC racing and eventually DH racing.  So as I, a true newbie to downhill, I began my time with the Lucky 7.  The first race [Southridge Winter Series, 2/22/2009, 13th out of 14] was a disaster!  I did manage to get the durability testing out of the way immediately, though!

The next race [Southridge Winter Series Finals, 3/22/2009, 10th out of 20] was a lot better!  With no dirt naps in-store for me.  I began to see the capabilities in the bike and the potential I had to become competitive [in Beginner Men 27-34].   Unfortunately, I would be without the Lucky 7 after this point until a shuttle session at Telonics a couple weeks before the 3rd race of the Golden State series in Fontana on 07/12/2009.

In Telonics I got to ride some real DH terrain on the Lucky 7 and it was amazing!  It’s just a forgiving bike that soaks up the small and big hits.   We had a ton of fun and burned through a set of brake pads in the process!  Now onto the race, with a two run format and no “wall” to pedal, this is the closest to a true DH race located in So-Cal nowadays.   With a fresh new attitude on DH riding and fresh legs (normally I race XC the day before the DH race), I was able to put together “the run of my life” I recall telling Tony at the bottom.  What a rush!  To have a clean DH run, one where I honestly felt I rode as fast as I possibly could, clean without any mistakes, I get excited thinking about it!  The result was a 3rd place and my first DH podium.

Next up was Mammoth mountain, now this is a true DH race.  On a mountain with loose pumice, a nasty rock section, a wall ride and a finish through the 4x track.  Mammoth lived up to its name, with a fast race run coming in 4 minutes, the track was over a minute longer than any Fontana run.   The Lucky 7 was beautiful here, through the steep sections, over the jumps and pedaling the straights.  We were a team, and we were determined to make it to the podium.  Well, we did better than podium, we won!

So, now here we are near the year end.  The 18th annual Southridge classic has just concluded (though I’m gonna make you wait for that story).  Be sure to check out the upcoming Lucky 7 review and review the 1st impression here.  It’s funny, we’re so used to reviews coming from expert and pro riders.  It’s true that they can push a bike to it’s limits, but couldn’t they ride almost any bike down the Mountain?  Wouldn’t a bike we (mountain bike enthusiast) consider stable and comforting seem slow and unresponsive to them? Anyways, if you don’t want to read a review from a Beginner DH racer, don’t worry.  I’m moving up to sport the first race next year.  I’ve got to say thanks one more time by the way to KHS Bicycles and their our Lucky 7.  Don’t forget to check out the KHS SixFifty 606 too.

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